Egypt to cover wheat shortage by importing 700K tons
Egyptian farmers husk wheat using a machine in a village near Alexandria. (File photo: Reuters)

CAIRO: Due to a shortage in wheat allocated for subsidized bread, the Egyptian Ministry of Supply has contracted with countries of France, Russia, and Ukraine for the fourth time in only one month, head of General Authority for Supply Commodities (GASC) Mamdouh Abdel-Fatah told Youm7 Saturday.

Throughout February, the government imported 700,000 tons of wheat; the latest cargo of 240,000 tons of wheat was imported from Russia and France, at a cost of $193.91 per ton. The cargo is expected to be shipped to Egypt between March 15 -25.

Abdel-Fatah added that the government will buy around 4.5 to 5 million tons of wheat in April, which consequently will increase the strategic wheat reserves.

Meanwhile, Minister of Supply Khaled Hanafi told Youm7 that the latest wheat cargo will ensure that the wheat could be enough to May.

Egypt imports more than 50 percent of its food needs. Supply Commodities Authority spokesperson Mahmoud Diab previously told The Cairo Post that Egypt consumes 15 million tons annually; of which 11 tons are imported.

Egypt is the largest wheat importer in the world; and FAO report in October that “Wheat imports for the 2015/16 marketing year are estimated at 11 million tons, about the same as the previous year and the average for the last five years.”

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